Live Review: The Amazing Snakeheads, Old Blue Last, London (10/09/13)


This London show ought to have been The Amazing Snakeheads‘ big breakthrough London show. Instead, it confirmed to the converted just how good they are, and began to convince the unsure. World domination is surely within their sights…

No support bands. Yep, that’s right, nothing to warm the crowd up. OK, you’ve got DJs, but the majority of the crowd appear to have been elsewhere watching the dire England football game and only arrive at the stated stage time of 9.30pm. In any case, the band don’t appear on stage till at least fifteen minutes later, by which time the crowd is surprisingly full; a little different to a few weeks back at The Dalston Victoria.

After a snarling ‘Hello, we’re The Amazing Snakeheads’ in an almost incomprehensible Glaswegian accent, the band get down to it. This time, we don’t get the band’s two most well known songs within the first ten minutes. Instead, we’re treated to a selection of lesser known songs, with recent b-side, ‘The Truth Serum’, hidden in the middle.

As the set wears on, they run the risk of becoming stale; you’d expect throbbing basslines and discordant guitars to begin to grate. But no, from the first minute right through to the last, this is rock n roll of the highest order. Recent a-side, ‘Testifying Time’, proves the most danceable, yet it is the largely unknown songs that impress the most, with their insistent, almost Krautrock-esque, basslines and Dale’s furious vocals. ‘Losing My Mind’ particularly stands out as its bass and drums combination builds to a deafening conclusion –  a potential future single, no doubt.

The trio’s aggressive, confrontational rock n roll is loud, powerful and commanding. There are hints of Iggy Pop, The Cramps and old-school punk in their sound, but The Snakeheads’ sound is something quite unique right now. Who knew that the most simple bassline could sound so well-crafted? That one chord played on repeat for three minutes could sound so tender? That drums played at ear-splitting volume could sound so irresistible? It just serves to show that rock n roll never gets old, even when reduced to its most primal elements.

The Amazing Snakeheads will support The Jim Jones Revue on a UK tour this autumn. Don’t miss out on the most exciting new band.

Alex Neely

…Alex is listening to The Replacements – Tim



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